Hinting at a promised third new model for its lineup, Scion unveils the C-HR small CUV concept today at the 2015 Los Angeles auto show.
“Scion is known for doing things differently, and maybe even a little weird,” newly installed Scion Vice President Andrew Gilleland says in a statement. “This C-HR concept embraces that idea and wears it like a badge of honor.”
Scion is aiming the wildly styled vehicle, which it is billing as the cure for boring SUVs, at “yuccies,” or young urban creatives inspired by design.
“These customers put an emphasis on great design and wanting something distinctive, sophisticated, passionate and clean,” the Toyota youth brand says.
The C-HR, with the C standing for compact and the H and R for high ride, uses a diamond theme throughout its exterior.
Looking overhead at the concept shows sharply cut diamond points in the front, rear and sides, which make round fender flares visible from every angle.
Contrast comes from the flowing lower body, which Scion dubs “sensual” and says instills “strong emotions.”
Particularly eye-catching are the C-HR’s 21-in. wheels, whose spokes have chiseled cut-outs furthering the diamond theme. The spokes appear to be partially finished in a champagne-colored metallic.
The C-HR’s roof is painted piano black, while the CUV’s grille, rear bumper, fender flares and lower side panels use graphite-black accents.
Scion says the C-HR rides on Toyota’s new TNGA global platform, tenets of which include increased body rigidity, improved ride comfort, a lower center of gravity and more responsive handling.
C-HR Chief Engineer Hiro Koba says despite the concept’s high ride height he focused on creating an urban driver with steering as precise as that of the cars he races on weekends.
“My favorite place to be on a weekend is at a race track, and I wanted to build a car that I would have just as much driving in the city during the week,” he says.
Scion has been somewhat revitalized by two new additions to its lineup this year, the iA subcompact sedan and iM compact hatchback, which helped boost brand sales above year-ago in September (50.4%) and October (44.6%).
A small CUV should lift demand even further, as the segment is one of the industry’s hottest.
WardsAuto’s Small CUV sector is up 49.0% through October vs. year-ago, driven by new entries this year from Honda (HR-V), Chevy (Trax), and Jeep (Renegade), as well as the refreshed Hyundai Tucson.
The Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru XV Crosstrek and Volkswagen Tiguan also have gained volume this year in the group.